Cristiano Ronaldo and the Ballon d'Or: no debate

Cristiano Ronaldo must hardly be able to believe everything he's been seeing, reading and hearing recently. Anyone landing on planet football a month ago would think Barcelona's Leo Messi has the Ballon d'Or easily sewn up and that the Real Madrid ace isn't even a contender. It's just incredible.

Cristiano has been key to trophy wins for club and country

People forget that the award takes into account the whole year. During that period, CR7 has finished as top scorer in a Champions League campaign, netted the decisive penalty in the final shoot-out against Atlético Madrid and been a heroic captain for Portugal in their triumph at Euro 2016, bagging a crucial group-stage brace against Hungary and bulleting in a majestic header in the semi-final with Wales.

Messi's had a good two months - and?

My point is that when all's said and done, the man who's really been number one, the man who's been behind his teams' successes, is Cristiano. Messi's had two very good months. So what? Have they helped Barça to any silverware? When he truly needed to be decisive, he failed. In the Champions League against Atleti and in the final of the Copa América with Argentina.

Cristiano simply has to be the recipient of the Ballon d'Or.